Communication through fashion

Bruce Ndlovu
For up and coming city designer, Tendai a�?Tasha�? Mpofu, fashion is not mere fancy dress up where models put on outlandish outfits and strut their stuff on the runway, but a true expression of identity. The 25-year-old designer, who dressed the winner of this yeara��s Mr Professional pageant and has also styled songbird Thandi Dlana, said she is inspired by the desire to bring out individual strength of people she has worked with.

a�?My ultimate goal as a designer is to communicate through my designs. I always try to bring out the real character of the person that I am styling because fashion is an art,a�? she said.

The young designer, inspired by South African fashion designer David Tlale, said that the expression of African beauty and style is her driving force hence she would like to dress musician Selmor Mtukudzi whose fashion sense she believes adheres to those ideals.

a�?On the local scene I would love to dress Selmor Mtukudzi because she has an original style that is also very uniquely African,a�? she said.

The up and coming designer, who is also a member of the Bulawayo Board of designers, said she was hoping to use this yeara��s Intwasa Arts Festival fashion show to bring some of her ideas to life.

a�?We are going around the city staging talent shows with the main objective being to expose the talent of city kids. Through these shows we try to build their confidence because that is crucial at a young age,a�? she said.

The former Northlea High School and Baines Primary School pupil besides dressing artistes, gets satisfaction at dressing ordinary people.

For Mpofu, her calling also extends beyond fashion as she is also the events manager of Fearfully and Wonderfully Created, an organisation that targets the young in the city in a bid to expose hidden talent that would otherwise go unnoticed.